Sunday Night Football reaction: Packers look like the real deal

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers
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Ricky Dimon

NFL · 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Yes, the Green Bay Packers were playing against Mitchell Trubisky and one of the most inept offenses in football. But they were also playing against the Chicago Bears defense, which is a well-respected unit.

Trubisky wasn’t responsible for the Bears giving up 41 points. Okay, he was so bad that he was actually responsible for giving up a few points by himself. The Packers returned a fumble for a touchdown (Preston Smith from 14 yards out) and Trubisky turned the ball over three times in total. That being said, Aaron Rodgers was borderline unstoppable during his team’s 41-25 romp that wasn’t even as close as the score suggests. Rodgers threw for only 211 yards, but he completed 21 of 29 passes and threw four touchdowns without getting picked off. He was backed by a running game (mostly Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams) that churned out 182 yards. Green Bay had an answer for everything Chicago threw at it, and Rodgers often looked like he knew exactly what Chicago’s defense was going to bring on basically every play.

Packers pack a punch in the NFC

It’s time to start thinking very seriously about placing a bet on Green Bay to win the NFC, if you haven’t already done so. At 8-3, the Packers have a three-game lead in the NFC North. The division is over, which means they are guaranteed to have at least one home game in the playoffs.

Even more important is the fact that they are just looking darn good right now. Rodgers is in complete control of the offense and with weapons around him like Jones, Williams, and Davante Adams, this unit is scary. As for the defense, it really isn’t that bad—and remaining games against Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago again should give it additional confidence boosts heading into the playoffs.

Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a touchdown

Optimism on the Packers has a lot to do with the rest of the NFC, too. There are no obvious juggernauts like Kansas City and Pittsburgh in the AFC. The team with the inside track on the No. 1 seed (New Orleans) has a 41-year-old playing quarterback, and that quarterback (Drew Brees) is currently out with broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Tampa Bay is struggling and the NFC West powerhouses (Seattle, Arizona, and the Rams) have all become wildly inconsistent. Green Bay has a good chance of securing the No. 2 seed, and based on recent playoff results this team would have no qualms about going on the road to New Orleans for the NFC Championship.

It’s all over for the Bears

One team that definitely won’t be representing the NFC in Super Bowl LV is Chicago. Once 5-1, the Bears have lost five games in a row to fall below .500. Their offense is hopeless regardless of who is under center (Trubisky or Nick Foles) and their defense flat out gave up in the second half against Green Bay. What’s to say the whole team won’t give up now that it is 5-6 and all but out of the playoff picture?

Head coach Matt Nagy’s squad doesn’t have a particularly hard schedule from now on, but it still has to face the Packers one more time (Week 17) and it’s not like the Bears can treat any opponent as gimmes. They have not won a single game this season by more than a touchdown and four of their victories have come by four points or fewer (including against Detroit, Atlanta, and the Giants). This team wasn’t impressive even at 5-1 and it certainly isn’t right now. Most concerning is that it’s hard to see anything changing the rest of the way.

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